Category Archives: Technology

SK-1-844-307-1727 removal (solved)

(Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn.)

Had a patron bring their laptop in.  They had encountered some ransomeware and called the number. They had given the scammers their credit card number and let them remotely into their computer.  The patron was jazzed because they were never charged.  But the computer was slow and they suspected it was compromised.  

   Well…  there was a a phone number (SK-1-844-307-1727) embedded in their task bar and further conversation revealed that the patron had called the number subsequently for help with passwords.  This sounded bad.  To make matters weirder, the laptop had been running Windows 7 until Monday night, when it installed Windows 10.  They brought in laptop in on Tuesday. 

Malwarebytes found nothing. 

Adware remover found nothing. 

There was a whole bunch of Windows updates not going through.  I went into services and restarrted the Update Service. 

Rkill found nothing. 

Searching online for the phone number you get a number of sites that "walk you through" how to remove it.  Always the same bullshit where they direct you to Task Manager to "stop the malicious program" and show how to "remove malicious programs" will no further info on what the malicious programs are named and screenshots of stopiing and removing programs like Firefox. OR they recommend buying Spyhunter 4. So we know were Spyhunter 4 makes their money. 

Tried the old JRT.  Nothing found. 

SUPERAntiSpyware found over 200 hundred trackers and an extension in Internet Explorer that might be part of the problem.  Clever, since I would not have thought to look at IE since the upgrade. 

Ran a free trial of HitmanPro.  That found a couple of dozen of problems. 

But the phone number is still on the Task Bar. 

I had tried right-clicking on the Task Bar before and finding how to remove the number.  This time, after running HitmanPro, I was able find the number under Toolbars and remove it. 

Handbills/Quarter Sheet Flyers

(Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn.)

I just can't seem to remember this so I need to post it. 

Make the flyer/handbill as a full page in Word.  File ==> Print.  Under Print All Pages type "1,1,1,1".    Last setting change to "4 page per sheet".

 

Windows 10 reboot loop (Not Solved)

Frustrating problem.  

Downloaded Windows 10 installation media onto a USB.  It fits on a 8GB USB but no smaller. 

  1. With the USB plugged in, when computer starts, as soon as you see the manufacturer logo hold F12.
  2. The initial boot menu was no help didn't see the USB.  Went into BIOS to change Boot Sequence to make USB first. 
  3. The information here will match the information from the computer you downloaded the installation media from. 
  4. Click Repair your computer in the lower left corner.
  5. Click on Troubleshootingadvanced option and then click Startup Repair

I got "Update was not successful, removing updates"

Repeat 1-4 above

5. Click on command Prompt.

6. Type these following commands and hit enter after each line of command:

Bootrec /fixmbr

Bootrec /fixboot

Bootrec /scanos

Bootrec /rebuildbcd

 

The /fixboot command told me access denied. Finished up the commands anyway and exited. Continued to Windows 10. "Update was not successful, removing updates"

Repeat 1-4 above

tried a System Restore.   Still Reboot Loop, except this time when I attempt another System Restore it tells me I have to select an operating system.  There is no option to do that and only one operating system. I am told I can not re-install windows without starting it first. (I can't start it because of the reboot loop). 

Went back in to Command Prompt and followed these steps

Interestingly the only Windows Installation found on the computer is on the E: drive?  Oh, that would be the USB with the installation media. 

Unfortunately, I realized this after starting a "chkdsk E:  /f"

Afterwards I typed:      Diskpart

       List disk            (Note which disk is your Boot drive number mine is 0)

      Sel disk 0

      List vol               Here I looked for a drive with the original OS.  There was none. 

Ugh.  I'm going to reformat the hard drive and start over. 

Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.

When trying to install Firefox, I got:”Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.”

  1. Press Windows Key +R on the keyboard. A Run dialog will open.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type in:
    firefox.exe -P
    Note: You can use -P-p or -ProfileManager (any of them should work).
  3. Click OK. The Firefox Profile Manager (Choose User Profile) window should open.
Fx31Profilemgr
Mine had two default users, one named default and the second named default with a string of numbers. The first was automatically selected so I selected the second and hit ok

Plex “Server Settings are Unavailable” (Solved)

(Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn.)

Plex is great to organize digital storage. 

Suddenly though all of my devices would given me the above warning when I tried to access the server. I made sure to run updates first by right clicking the Plex icon in the lower right corner and selecting "Check for Updates".  I then went into Task Manager and shut Plex down.  

Click on Cortana or do the "windows +R" or whatever you use to type in regedit and get into the registry.  We are going to "Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Plex, Inc.\Plex Media Server" and delete the values for 

  • PlexOnlineHome

  • PlexOnlineMail

  • PlexOnlineToken

  • PlexOnlineUsername

Start up the Plex server again, maybe reinstall the client. Just restarting it worked for me. 

Excel opening to blank (Solved)

(Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn.)

After the last windows upate, two of the computers were refusing to open Excel sheets corrrectly.  They would open up a Excel Frame but where they spreadsheet should be was completely blank. If you went into  FILE==>OPEN==>Previous, it would open files just fine. 

   The update had enabled Microsoft Office 365 and/or Microsoft Office Student 2016 and chosen one or the other to be the default program to open up Excel files, instead of using Office 2013, the Office Suite we have licenses for.  

I used Revo Uninstaller to remove Office 365 and Office 2016.  

First I went into "This PC ==> C://".  I clicked the View tab and enabled "Hidden Items". 

I went into the list of Programs and found Excel 2013, right clicked and open file location.  It was OS (C:) ==> ProgramData ==> Microsoft ==> Windows ==> Start Menu ==> Programs ==>Microsoft Office 2013 ==> Excel 2013. 

YMMV

I right clicked on an excel file and selected "Open With…".  and inserted the above path. 

Windows had to reconfigure Microsoft Office 2013 before it was able to open things correctly. 

I then went into settings and Default Apps and made sure Excel had all of its defaults. 

 

Itunes has invalid signature

(Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn.)

After uninstalling Itunes with Revo Uninstaller, I followed these steps from Gheeda Al-Zubaidi. 

To solve this issue:

1. I right clicked the installation file

2. Went to properties

3. Clicked unblock

Then:

1. From the start button, searched for "uac"

2. Clicked "Change User Account Settings"

3. And dragged the bar to "Never Notify" (needs restarting)

4. After restarting, I ran the installation as administrator again, and it worked!

Error code 0x80240031 – Solved?

(Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn.)

10.30.17  Unable to Update Windows 10.  There seems to be a whole laundry list of these errors codes for the Windows Update.  

I first tried:

  1. Search for msconfig in your Start search box
  2. In the search result window select System Configuration
  3. Once in the System Configuration dialog box, go to the Services tab and select Hide all Microsoft services. Then click Disable all
  4. In the same System Configuration dialog go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager
  5. Disable every startup item in the Task Manager
  6. Close the Task Manager and click OK
  7. Restart the computer. Re-run updates. 

Nope.  It downloads the updates and then gives me the same error while attempting to install them. 

Downloaded Windows Update Troubleshooter and found out the "Service registration is missing or corrupt". So I:

a. Press Windows key + R, type "services.msc" (without quotes) in start run box and press Enter

b. Locate Windows Update service.

c. Right click on the Windows Update service and select Properties.

d. In Start-up type, select Automatic from the list.

e. Click Start under Service status.

f. Click OK.

g. Repeat the steps c to f for the following services also:

Background Intelligent Transfer Service & Cryptographic Service.

Again, problems installing the updates. 

So I tried:

a) Press Windows key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
   
b) On the open Command Prompt window copy and paste the commands (all at once) 
 
net stop wuauserv

net stop cryptSvc
 
net stop bits

net stop msiserver

ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old

net start wuauserv

net start cryptSvc

net start bits

net start msiserver

This at least got us a new error code 0x80d02005. 

So I ran Windows Update again, left the computer on overnight and lo and behold, the big security update went through the next morning.  Took 4 hours. 

Windows Update Error 0x80070422

Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn. 

Problem:  10.17.17   When running a Windows 10 update, I receive the error 0x80070422. 

Solution that worked:    In Cortana, type in "Services". Right click on the "Services: Desktop app" result and select "Run as Administrator".  0x80070422  In Services, scroll down to "Windows Update", right click on it and select "Properties".  Make sure Updates is enabled and started. Maybe even stop it and start it again. 

Worked on 10.17.17. 

Converting mpg to dvd

Like many of my technology postings, this is really here for my own notes on problems I run into, the solutions I try and what works when. They are updated as I learn. 

DVD Flick – old standby, works a majority of the time

ConvertXtoDVD6  – watermark

Nero 2017 – long installation, installed 5 unneeded programs, kept crashing at start

WinX DVD Author  – could not find DVD Drive

Easy MPG to DVD Burner – command failed everytime

AVStoDVD – full of crap

DVD Author – creates ISO